As fall gets closer, now is a great time to start thinking about your home’s carbon monoxide detectors. When heating season is underway, the Centers for Disease Control says the potential of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up.
Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas that’s colorless, odorless and tasteless. It’s a result of combustion your gas furnace relies on to add warmth to your house. When your furnace is working like it’s supposed to, the gas is securely moved outside of your house. Cracks in your furnace’s heat exchanger or flue pipes can cause carbon monoxide to appear into your residence, where prolonged exposure can be lethal.
Regardless of the fact carbon monoxide poisoning is escapable, the CDC says at least 430 people in the U.S. are killed by it each year. And another approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room because of related ailments, such as headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
The best ways you can protect your home is by scheduling annual maintenance of all gas, oil, or wood burning appliances, including your furnace and water heater, and using a carbon monoxide detector. From plug-in to smart carbon monoxide detectors, there’s a model out there that fits for your home and budget.
Smart Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smart carbon monoxide detectors, such as the Nest carbon monoxide detector, make it easy to stay on top of keeping your loved ones safe. They’re usually offered as combination carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and can generally be linked with other smart home devices via Wi-Fi.
Here are a few other benefits of using them in your home:
- Tells you there’s an issue through voice notifications, plus alerts on your phone.
- Reveals the problem spot, such as the kitchen or basement.
- Can be shut off from your phone.
- Automatically checks its sensors and batteries and reveals findings through a full report on your phone.
- Warns you of low batteries with an alert on your phone, not a loud chirp in the middle of the night.
- Lasts up to 10 years, depending on the type.
The only problem with using Wi-Fi carbon monoxide detectors is the expense. These detectors are typically much more expensive than their plug-in or battery-powered counterparts. But they also provide many beneficial and worthy features you can’t get in a non-smart device.
When you’re installing a new device, it’s vital to learn where to place carbon monoxide detectors. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests placing a carbon monoxide detector approximately five feet above the floor or on the ceiling. This is since carbon monoxide can rise with warm air.
We recommend installing a detector on each floor of your house, especially outside bedrooms. You’ll want to be sure the alarm will wake you up.
Battery-Powered and Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Plug-in and battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors are the most economical. A couple of the most popular styles are Kidde carbon monoxide detectors and First Alert carbon monoxide detectors.
But they also have limited features that don’t work with your phone or smart home devices. They usually have a digital display and test button, which you’ll have to remember to use.
The National Fire Protection Association encourages testing hardwired carbon monoxide alarms once a month. Battery-powered detectors that don’t plug in need to be tested once a week. If you’re unsure how to test for carbon monoxide, it’s more or less easy. Depress the button to be certain your detector is functioning.
If your detector is hardwired, make sure to replace the backup battery at least once a year. If it’s battery-powered, you’ll want to change it once a month to bypass the dreaded chirp in the middle of the night.
If you’re noticing noise or your carbon monoxide detector is beeping regularly, it often indicates it has a low battery. Or, it’s approaching the end of its life. How long carbon monoxide detectors work depends on the brand you own. Typically, it’s approximately 5–10 years, but make sure to check instructions from your specific manufacturer.
If you’re confused about why your carbon monoxide detector is beeping, it’s likely due to the fact it’s detecting high amounts of carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector is going off with continuous, loud beeping, leave your residence immediately and contact 911.
Now is a good time to confirm your carbon monoxide detector is functioning as it should before heating season starts. If you need to set up furnace maintenance or you’re interested in upgrading to smart carbon monoxide detectors, the Experts at Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can provide support. Get in touch with us at 239-908-6991 today and we’ll help you select the perfect carbon monoxide detector for your house.